Troubleshooting your Gas Fire Pit

Troubleshooting your Gas Fire Pit
May 13, 2019

As an alternative to a wood burning fire pit and the inevitable messy clean ups, you chose a gas-fuelled option that came in a kit and was relatively easy to install. You built an attractive and comfortable, low-maintenance backyard retreat that is the envy of your Rock Valley, Iowa neighborhood and everything was rosy and carefree. Until it wasn’t.

The fire pit behaved in fits and starts and sometimes didn’t start at all. You’re not an expert but your DIY side can save the day with a little troubleshooting. Let’s look at common fire pit operational quandaries and how to fix them.

I Pushed the Ignitor but there’s No Spark
Most ignitors operate with batteries and this is a likely trouble spot. Open the ignitor and first make sure a battery is in there and check the connections. They might have disconnected or simply be loose.

It Takes a Long Time to Ignite
We are used to instant gratification these days when it comes to gadgets and gas fire pits are no different. You should see spark immediately after ignition but if it takes a few long moments to ignite, there is a problem in the fuel supply or pressure.

Inspect all valves to ensure they are working properly and replace any that are not fully flowing. Check burner ports and the fuel orifice for blockages and keep them clean. Dirty burner ports can also cause burner backfires so be sure to clear away even the smallest debris.

The Burner Lights but Keeps Going Out
If your gas fire pit lights but doesn’t stay lit, this can also be a result of dirty ports or faulty valves. Check those and then examine the pit’s location. Is it in a place susceptible to wind? A persistent draft can snuff out your burner as easy as blowing out a candle and if this is the case, erect a temporary or permanent shield from the wind.

It may sound obvious but be sure to check fuel level in the tank. Turn the valve off and check the fuel; low levels can hinder a strong flame or contribute to a sputtering flame. The pilot tube might also be blocked with dirt or debris of some sort and a thorough cleaning usually solves the problem.

If it doesn’t and you have spark but no pilot light, the issue often lies with the thermocouple, the tiny electrode that tells the gas valve to stay on. Tighten all connections with a wrench, taking an especially close look at the thermocouple and gas valve. If you still have pilot light problems, the valve may be faulty and now it’s time to call an expert technician.

It Whistles while it Works
You have pilot and burner flame but there is a whistling sound. What to do? A few of the most common culprits are bends in the flexible lines, too much gas supply, and wrong size gas line. For the latter two, enlist the help of an expert.

You can find Rock Valley and Sioux Center, Iowa fire pit experts at Outdoor Elements. Call today at (712) 476-5299.